- Committee summoned management of Litro Gas Lanka over delay in issuing domestic gas cylinders
- COPE Chairman Charitha Herath directs bulk of cylinders be distributed in two densely populated districts
- Requests Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation Chief and Finance Ministry Secretary to explore possibility of providing financial support to Litro Gas
- Litro Chairman Vijitha Herath says shortage of 3.5 m cylinders in the local markets
- The two tankers that arrived carried only 80,000 cylinders
- COPE tells Litro officials to keep public updated on available stocks
The Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) yesterday directed senior officials of Litro Gas Lanka Ltd. to ensure that it distributes 60% of its daily output of LP Gas Cylinders to the Colombo and Gampaha Districts.
COPE Chairman MP Charitha Herath said that taking into consideration the population density in the two districts and many residents having no access to other alternative sources of energy for domestic use, Litro should send the bulk of their supplies to Colombo and Gampaha for at least the next week.
The management of Litro Gas Lanka was summoned to appear before COPE on a request by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to explain why the company has failed to unload a stock of gas that was at the Port since Wednesday and the current availability of gas cylinders.
Litro Gas Lanka Chairman Vijitha Herath told the Committee that their shortage of 3.5 million gas cylinders in the local markets, and from two gas tankers that reached the country carried only 80,000 cylinders are being distributed daily through its network of 42 distributors and sub-agents.
He explained that the delay in unloading stocks was due to the inclement weather which impacted the distribution.
Herath said $ 160 million from the Indian Credit Line had been allocated for gas purchases, and Litro Gas Lanka will be using $ 120 million of that amount. A sum of $ 80 million will be made available by the World Bank, and the company plans to go for a term tender to purchase gas with that amount.
COPE requested the Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation Chairman, and the Finance Ministry Secretary to explore the possibility of using SLIC reserves to provide financial support to Litro Gas Lanka considering the fact that Litro comes under the purview of SLIC.
The COPE Chairman also instructed the company to ensure that people are made aware of the availability of gas through their website as well as telephone messages so that the public will not be inconvenienced and forced to queue up for many hours, as it is happening now.